non·​re·​new·​able | \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl How to pronounce nonrenewable (audio) , -ˈnyü- \

Definition of nonrenewable

: not able to be renewed : not renewable a nonrenewable service contract especially : unable to be replaced or replenished once used … most of the natural resources that we exploit for energy and minerals are nonrenewable. Once they have been used up, they cannot be replenished—at least in our lifetime. — Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman A nonrenewable resource is a resource that cannot be replaced after it is used. Minerals and many fuels are nonrenewable resources. — Dr. Timothy Cooney et al. Physical and economic shortages of nonrenewable resources require research programs aimed at developing renewable replacement resources. Predicasts Technology Update Lubbock is the principal city of the semi-arid southern High Plains of Texas, where the extensive, nonrenewable Ogallala aquifer is the major water resource. AAG Abstracts

Examples of nonrenewable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, Earth only offers up a finite amount of fossil fuels and nonrenewable energy sources. Gideon Kimbrell, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 Prices for natural gas — a nonrenewable fossil fuel that remains the most common way to heat homes in America — are soaring just as the Northern Hemisphere slides into fall and winter. Allison Morrow, CNN, 3 Oct. 2021 Now in the last year of his nonrenewable five-year term, the South Korean leader appears to have had a change of heart. Washington Post, 28 Sep. 2021 Today these fuels are mostly made from natural gas or other nonrenewable fossil fuels via extremely inefficient reactions. Kerry Rippy, The Conversation, 26 Aug. 2021 Although wind production remains relatively low in comparison with nonrenewable resources such as natural gas and coal, the pace of growth is attracting global attention. Celina Tebor, Los Angeles Times, 26 Aug. 2021 The processes of water extraction, transportation, and filtration all use nonrenewable fossil fuels and leave a build-up of carbon dioxide, wrote WaterNow Alliance's Ava Mohsenin in 2016. Lydia Wang,, 11 Aug. 2021 So today our jeans are produced with the help of the cheapest and dirtiest nonrenewable energy sources, mainly coal. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, 5 May 2021 For Holly, the chapter official in Red Mesa, the smaller solar plant that will see construction this summer in her chapter is a good first step for the region long dependent on nonrenewable resource extraction. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nonrenewable.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of nonrenewable

1903, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for nonrenewable

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The first known use of nonrenewable was in 1903

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Dictionary Entries Near nonrenewable

non-REM sleep



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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Nonrenewable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for nonrenewable



English Language Learners Definition of nonrenewable

: not able to grow again or be made again : not able to be replaced by nature
: not continued or repeated after a period of time has ended


non·​re·​new·​able | \ ˌnän-ri-ˈnü-ə-bəl, -ˈnyü- \

Kids Definition of nonrenewable

: not restored or replaced by natural processes in a short period of time Petroleum is a nonrenewable resource.


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